The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on June 5, 1986 · Page 13
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The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 13

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Baytown, Texas
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Thursday, June 5, 1986
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Page 13
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THE BAYTOWN SUN Thursday, June 5, 1986 1-B P£RSPORT-THURSDAY Baseball fever still with Estes By ED CAMPBELL HIGHLANDS — The old say- Ing goes something like, "Those who can, play. Those who can't, coach." Tim Estes, however, provides a good reason to throw away old sayings. Estes could play baseball and he can definitely coach it. He played for Ross S. Sterling and, briefly, University of Houston and Lee College. Now he is up to his lineup card in Highlands baseball and the birth of a Palomino team. A 1981 Sterling graduate, Estes played third base for the Rangers under Coach Ronnie Kluch. "I had gone to the University of Houston after that, and made the team as a third baseman," said Estes. "Unfortunately, I didn't make the grades so I sat out a year. I was taking some tech classes at Lee College when Rod Soesbe came along. We talked, and he said he'd have a place for me on the baseball tea.m there. "I figured I might as well give it another try. I played in the fall and I believe I had the highest batting average of anyone. Then, in spring training, there was someone else ahead of me at third. I gave it up again, and that was it as far as my playing days were concerned." That wasn't the end of his baseball days, though. As president of the boys baseball division of the Highlands Sports Association, he is around the diamond all the time. "We've got the Palominos for the first time this year, plus two Pony teams and two Colt teanis," said'Estes. "Last year we had bne'Te'am in Baytown's winter league, and this year we're going to have two. But don't get the impression that I do all the work myself. Alex Castillo is there all the time helping out. There's no way one person could do all that work alone." Estes said a combination of factors led to his heavy involvement in local baseball. "I've lived in Highlands since 1$72," he said. "I like to get involved in the community. I also still like baseball very much and I like kids. You have to get out there and contribute something." So Estes contributes a lot of hours. Hours that he said seem to be paying off. "I believe baseball is really growing in Highlands," he said. "We've got Little League, under Ronnie Smith, that has midget, pee wee, minor and major leagues. Now, with the five teams for the older kids, it seems like most kids in Highlands are on one baseball team or another. At least it provides the kids with something to do." Estes said the formation of the Palomino team wasn't as difficult a job as one might expect. "Actually, it was pretty easy," he said. "There was a lot of interest from the boys, and that's really all you need. We had plenty of boys that wanted to play from here in Highlands and a few from Baytown. Palomino teams are limited to an IB-man' roster and we had no problem filling that up at all. In fact, we were forced to turn away a few kids." The brand-new Palomino team took the field for the first time Sunday, with 'Castillo, Estes and Scott Lane doing the coaching. Like many new teams, (See ESTES, Page 3-B) What a year Aswell reaches great heights in 1st season PHYLLIS ASWELL WM a steady partontwr in the field and at the - — — — • • — — — • ^' f~~ m^m mmm^rm plate at Stephen P. Austin State University. (Photo courtesy of J. Lyn Carl) By DAVID BERKOWITZ NACOGDOCHES - If she were to stand on the tips of her toes, Phyllis Aswell would see eye-to-chin with most people her age. When you are 4-foot-ll, though, such measures are reserved for emergencies. While participating in sports at Ross S. Sterling, Aswell rarely had to resort to anything but her natural athletic ability. The same can be said for life after high school. As a freshman at Stephen F. Austin State University, she proved that size is not all that counts. Hard work and determination mean something in the game of fast-pitch softball. "Softball is for stubby people," Aswell pointed out, partly in jest. "My size really isn't a problem, since the tallest person in our whole infield is 5-5." So when the Ladyjacks of SFA took on the nation's elite in the NCAA Division II Tournament three weeks ago, she didn't feel lost in the land of the giants. And her team proved that height doesn't necessarily make might. As the starting second baseman and leadoff batter, Aswell helped the Ladyjacks breeze through the tourney undefeated and gain the school's first national team title. To say the least, the experience was an eye-opener. "It was really exciting," Aswell said. "I wasn't really thinking about going to the national tournament. It just made it seem sweeter that we went there and won it. Especially as a freshman." Aswell was no ordinary first- year player. Otherwise, she wouldn't have been the only freshman to earn a starting position on Coach Dianne Baker's team. Although softball isn't part of the high school athletic program in Baytown, those who enjoy playing the game find other avenues for competition. Aswell joined a successful Houston-based women's team while at Sterling, and the experience proved beneficial. Her performance landed her a chance to make the team at SFA, and that opening in the door was all she needed. "There was a spot open, but I knew I had to prove myself," Aswell said. And that she did. Second base and the top spot in the batting order belonged to her from opening day this spring. Steady glove work and a knack for bunting made her a valuable part of the 17-player roster. Not known for her extra-base hit potential. Aswell took a realistic approach to the offensive portion of her game. Knowing that she didn't match up with many players as far as strength, she spent extra time working on bunting. To some, the bunt may ap- (See ASWELL, Page 3-B) Karl Young League opens doors for its players SUM-TEX By MICHAEL KEARNS Lee Egalnick doesn't need to look far to see the impact that the Karl Young Baseball League has had on Houston area high school and college baseball players. All Egalnick, the league founder, has to do is pick up the sports page. The alumni from Karl Young (as it is called by the 1 players and coaches) are the college and professional stars of today, and the new stars on the horizon. "Wayne Graham's team at JOHN BY1NGTON hopes his experience this summer will help prepare him for college baseball. (Sun staff photo by Michael Reams) San Jacinto, 90 percent of them are from our league," said Egalnick of the 1985 and 1986 national junior college champions. "When we look at that player periscope column in the paper, 75 percent of them are from us. Then there's Phil Garner, Craig Reynolds (Houston Astros), Mark Thurman (San Diego Padres) and our latest hero, Roger Clemens (Boston Red Sox). "My son, Bob Allen (Channel 13 sport seas ter), interviewed Roger out on the West Coast. The first thing he (Roger) said was, 'How's your dad? How's the league doing?' Heck, we're just happy if a kid gets to school and plays ball and gets a degree." Egalnick started the league 18 years ago as a venue for local high school and college baseball players to face stiff competition and sharpen skills during the summer months. In many cases, the league lands scholarships for players that are overlooked by college recruiters. That, at times, seems to be the league's focal point. "Here in Houston, if a kid doesn't play on a playoff team, he doesn't get seen; nobody knows he's alive," said Egalnick. "There just isn't enough time for the college coaches to get around to everybody. "When they play in this program, they play just about at college-level ball. The ex- perience is great. And it's almost a lock in getting a kid to college, If we tell a college coach this kid can do it, he can make book on it. "I think that we judge talent better than the pros do. We know, physically, how a kid's going to develop. A lot of kids are going to be as good as they're going to be that last game in high school." To compete in Karl Young, a player must be a college -baseball player and eligible scholastically, or a high school senior. If you're in college and playing, or planning to play on the collegiate level, Karl Young is the place to play. The five teams play doubleheaders six nights a week at Delmar Stadium. A player can compete in as many as 40 games over the summer. The play is intense and it demands total concentration from the participants. Late each spring, the league holds open tryouts. More than LIQUOR 300 players showed up for this year's session, but few made the grade. "That's the biggest regret I have," said North Shore Coach Chris Rupp, an alumni of Karl Young and a coach for the past six years. "I wish we could pick them all and let them play. "We hold a draft, like the pro draft. If you pick too many players at the same position, they won't get very many at-bats. The league doesn't have (See KARL, Page 3-B) 508 W. MAIN SPECIALS GOOD 6 S THRU 6 7 r ^F oTo CAR IMPROVEMENT SPECIALISTS CUSTOM AUTO TINTING Adds beauty, comfort and privacy from Avoilobl* in a variety of» colon TURNER ELECTRONICS COMMERCIAL AUDIO/VIDEO SYSTEMS • Sales • Installation • Service • Rentals *•" dWOT %W^^W I* ••' VCR Salts A Rtpair 427-0344 Sun-Roofs installed 15"X3C PqssThru Windows edliners $299°° All Models CANADIAN MIST BLEND EZRA BROOKS BOURBON BACARDI RUM TVnl SEAGRAMS SMIRNOFF VODKA PRIVATE CELLAR BOURBON OLD CROW BOURBON HM USHERS SCOTCH EVAN WILLIAMS GREEN BOURBON 5 79 6 59 6 49 6 19 6 89 Now Cor Protoetion • Rwt r*t*cfton uv Usod Car >^Rust Protootion CANADIAN CLUB CANADIAN Rvrt • Compfot* Rutt Protection LIME STAR 10 3219 North Main, Beytown ».».•* 422-3519

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